Jul 14, 2018; Frisco, TX, USA; Chicago Fire defender Jonathan Campbell (16) and defender Brandon Vincent (3) defend against FC Dallas midfielder Ryan Hollingshead (12) during the first half at Toyota Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
FC Dallas defender Reto Ziegler stepped to the spot in the 81st minute and fired a sizzling penalty kick into the upper right corner of the net. It was the capstone of a mostly miserable Saturday night for the visiting Chicago Fire, as Dallas charged to a 3-1 win at home.
Ziegler’s penalty was the result of a late challenge from Jonathan Campbell, who otherwise had a solid night defensively. He had plenty of work to keep him busy, as Dallas continually rained shots down on Chicago.
Dallas’s second goal, which came in the 74th minute, also came shortly after a critical defensive mistake. Fire midfielder Drew Conner, already playing on a yellow card, slid at Ryan Hollingshead’s legs and was immediately shown another yellow.
Just four minutes after Conner headed for the exit, as Chicago played on with 10 men, Dallas found itself with room to create. Victor Ulloa slid the ball across to Kellyn Acosta, who fired a rocket from distance into the low corner of the net. That gave Dallas a 2-0 lead it had pushed for the majority of the match after notching its first goal early.
Reggie Cannon found space on the far side in the 27th minute, but not as much as Carlos Gruezo had in the middle. Cannon sent the ball inside, where Gruezo waited to send it in off his first touch. Chicago’s back line was a tick too slow, and was left standing on its heels watching Gruezo’s goal sink into the net. It was Gruezo’s second goal of the season.
Dallas created 22 chances (six on target), compared to Chicago’s six chances (one on target).
Chicago’s 23-year-old Brandt Bronico did score his first-ever Major League Soccer goal during the match. In the 86th minute, Bronico stepped up to rebound from a clearance, took one touch and sent the ball whizzing past Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez. That was small consolation, though, considering it came with just a few minutes left to play in what was already a convincing Dallas win.
With the victory, FC Dallas maintained an unbeaten streak of 11 straight home matches. The club remains on top of the Western Conference with a record of 11-3-5. Chicago, meanwhile, was playing its second game in four days and dropped to 6-10-5 for eighth in the Eastern Conference.